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Greenfield v. Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners

Decided: January 20, 1941.

CHARLES W. GREENFIELD, PROSECUTOR,
v.
PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMMISSIONERS, A PUBLIC CORPORATION OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT



On writ of certiorari.

For the prosecutor Greenburg, Wilensky & Feinberg (Oscar R. Wilensky).

For the defendant, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, Louis Auerbacher, Jr.

Amicus curioe, David T. Wilentz, attorney-general, and Harry A. Walsh.

Before Justices Case, Donges and Heher.

Case

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CASE, J. On May 7th, 1935, Charles W. Greenfield was sworn in as a member of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners for a term of five years, having been shortly theretofore appointed to that office by the governor and confirmed by the senate in accordance with the Passaic Valley Sewerage District statute, chapter 48, Pamph. L. 1902, as amended by chapter 126, Pamph. L. 1927. R.S. 58:14-3, restating the pertinent legislation, did not change the term of office or the

manner of appointment. Greenfield functioned until the end of his term in May, 1940. By that time another statute had come into existence, namely, chapter 385, Pamph. L. 1938, entitled "An act providing for tenure of office of exempt firemen," which provided:

"1. Every exempt fireman holding an exempt fireman's certificate issued to him in accordance with the laws of this State now employed or holding any office or position except one created by the Constitution under the government of this State or any county, municipality or board of education of this State, shall continue in said employment, office or position during good behavior and shall not be removed from said employment, office or position except for good cause shown after a fair and impartial hearing upon written charges preferred against him.

"2. Every exempt fireman holding an exempt fireman's certificate issued to him in accordance with the laws of this State, hereafter employed or appointed to any office or position, except one created by the Constitution, under the Government of this State or a county containing the municipality from which said exempt fireman's certificate was issued or who may be hereafter employed or appointed to any office or position, except one created by the Constitution, under the government of the municipality from which said exempt fireman's certificate was issued or the board of education of said municipality and who has served or shall hereafter serve in said employment, office or position for the term of three consecutive years, shall continue in said employment, office or position and shall not be removed from said employment, office or position except for good cause shown after a fair and impartial hearing upon written charges preferred against him."

It is our construction, as well as prosecutor's contention, that the phrase "except one created by the Constitution" is to be given the effect of a parenthetical exception, complete in itself, from the application of the statute.

Greenfield is an exempt fireman holding an exempt fireman's certificate and has been such continuously since prior to the passage of the tenure ...


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